A startup is on a mission to end food waste with its all-natural stickers
Spotted: Food waste is an ever-growing problem worldwide, with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimating that, every year, 931 million tonnes of food are thrown away in households, retail, and the food service industry. To tackle this, an American-based company, Ryp Labs, has created StixFresh – a food-grade sticker designed to keep produce fresher for longer.
Ryp Labs’ stickers can make foods last twice as long when they are directly applied to produce or packaging, slowing down over-ripening or spoilage. By identifying diseases that trigger the premature rotting of foods, Ryp Labs has been able to create a safe, patent-pending formulation that works in the vapour phase to create a protective layer around the food, stopping it from ripening too quickly and slowing down the eventual spoilage. Ryp Labs only uses food-grade ingredients in the production of its stickers, making them recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable.
The stickers can be applied at any point along the supply chain and are also customisable so that users can feature their own branding or barcodes. Currently, Ryp Labs partners with retailers, distributors, and growers to help cut food waste in products such as avocados, nectarines, and citrus fruits. The company has also created Shelf Defence, which comes in sachets and sheets to be placed in containers to protect smaller fruits such as berries and grapes.
Although the company is currently targeting fruit and vegetable waste, given StixFresh’s scalability, Ryp Labs is set to help reduce wastage in industries such as poultry, dairy, and meat in the future.
Ryp Labs is not the only company tackling food waste. Springwise has also spotted a designer who developed an onion skin material to replace single-use plastic in food packaging, and a subscription service that stops ‘imperfect’ fruit and veg from going to landfill.
Written By: Anam Alam